Jay Hieron announced his retirement after 30 professional fights. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Jay Hieron is the latest world-class fighter to to retire from mixed martial arts.
The UFC veteran announced his decision on Friday via Twitter.
“[I] just wanna say thank you to my family, friends and fans. I'm officially retiring from professional fighting today,” wrote Hieron. “I changed my life from a negative to a positive with this sport. [I was] blessed to compete around the world and [in] the biggest organizations!”
Hieron, 37, began his pro career in 2003, winning 10 of his first 12 fights but falling to Georges St. Pierre and Jonathan Goulet in two UFC appearances. The New York native then joined the International Fight League, winning the defunct organization’s welterweight title in 2007.
“The Thoroughbred” made appearances in Affliction and Strikeforce from 2009 to 2010 and then joined Bellator, winning the organization’s Season 4 welterweight title before coming up just short against then-champion Ben Askren in a 2011 split decision. Hieron rejoined the UFC the following year, dropping a decision to former IFL foe Jake Ellenberger before suffering a first-round knockout at the hands of Tyron Woodley in February 2013 to cap his near-decade-long career. The 30-fight pro leaves the sport with a record of 23-7, scoring 13 of his wins inside the distance.